Sen. Tim Scott: No one has to root for ObamaCare's failure; it's failing consistently on its own

This is a rush transcript from "On the Record," October 21, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: Well, here is how to do it. Pick up the phone. That's new answer to ObamaCare. Really? The phone? Is that really President Obama's new solution? Well, that's what he said today. And so we tried his last idea, all of us going online, and then we all discovered the website, well, that was a flop. And then, even more annoying, President Obama blamed the American people for his lousy website. He said the problem was too many of us logged on at once. You knew it was your fault, right? But tonight, "On the Record" is investigating ObamaCare.


BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The website that's supposed to make it easy to apply for and purchase the insurance is not working.


OBAMA: It is a good deal.

SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-ARIZ.: It's been a fiasco.

OBAMA: It's not as quick or efficient or consistent as we want.

SEN. TED CRUZ, R-TEXAS: ObamaCare is a disaster.

OBAMA: Nobody is madder than me about the fact that the website isn't working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed.


VAN SUSTEREN: And this is a FOX News alert. After weeks of Congress asking, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius finally agreeing. She will be testifying next week before Congress. That will be on Wednesday.

Senator Tim Scott joins us.

Good evening, sir.

SEN. TIM SCOTT, R-S.C.: Thank you, Greta. Thank you for having me back.

VAN SUSTEREN: Nice to have you.

Well, she will be testifying apparently the House of Representatives. But your thoughts on Secretary Sebelius? They have been trying to get her to testify for some time.

SCOTT: It's really time for her to take a stand and explain to the American people how this disaster could be so bad. It's as if she spent all of her time looking for ways to market ObamaCare, asking companies, health insurance companies to participate in spending money to market ObamaCare, yet we didn't have enough time focusing on how to get the opportunity to apply for ObamaCare online.

Listen, the iPhone costs $150 million to produce something. We spent over $400 million for a website that doesn't work. And you can't say there is a glitch. We need to ask very specific questions and very simple questions. What's wrong? How do you fix it? How long will it take? We are talking about one-sixth of the economy now being in the hands of folks who spent $400 million simply for a website that doesn't work.

VAN SUSTEREN: Well, she just released this press release a few moments ago, in which she admits that it has been, in her words, "rocky." That it's been rocky start.


But they are working tirelessly to make it better. Here is a question. Glitches can be fixed. How do we know that this is not just -- that these aren't flaws? Flaws are a little bigger problem than glitches.

SCOTT: I think the word "glitches" was poll-tested to make sure people were comfortable with the thought process. The reality is this is an absolute failure. You don't spend $400 million on a website that people -- no matter how many are trying to log on, you should be able to log on. We have hundreds of thousands of experts in Silicon Valley and across the nation who spend their time doing websites. We ought to hire experts to build websites. This is another example of how challenging it really is when you turn something over to the government that could be better done in the private sector. This is why it costs so much, why it doesn't work very well.

My great fear, however, is this is just a website. We haven't started having a conversation about the provision of health care, about paying claims, about making sure that all the pieces fit together after 15 years in the insurance industry. I will tell you that the reality is, if it's hard on the front end, it's going to be really painful when we get to -- the pain of having to take care of claims and having to take care of people. This is a real challenge. If it's this bad now, I fear the worse is still to come.

VAN SUSTEREN: Today, the president spoke from the White House. He said many politicians -- he was referring to those in the Republican Party -- are rooting for failure. Are you routing for failure of ObamaCare?

SCOTT: I don't think anyone has to root for failure of ObamaCare. ObamaCare is consistently failing. What we should root for is private- sector opportunities to improve the health care delivery, to make health insurance more affordable.

It's one of the things that you've asked several times on your show, what's the alternative? I would love to have a serious conversation about how do we solve the problem of having more access to health insurance without giving it to the government. We see today why giving it to the government costs more and you get lower qualities when that happens. I think we could solve the problem far better in the private sector by allowing three or four basic principles to guide us in the direction of a private-sector solution.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let's say that the online system gets up and running. The phone system works as well to register people. At that point -- and you say that the ObamaCare is going to fail. But do you want it to fail?

SCOTT: What I want to happen is I want more Americans to have more access to health insurance. I do not believe ObamaCare does that. Here are the numbers that stick in my mind. According to most experts, by the year 2023, 10 percent of Americans will still be without insurance, will spend $3 trillion getting there. Today, 15 percent of Americans are without insurance. So the question is, is it really worth $3 trillion to provide health insurance for 5 percent of the people or is there a better, more cost-effective way to make sure that people have access to health insurance without going to the government? I think the answer is yes.

A couple things that we should keep in mind, the cost was $900 billion just in 2009. The estimates today go in excess of $3 trillion by some experts so --

VAN SUSTEREN: Which brings me to the question then, one of the things that was battled about in the last week is the income verification, to figure out who is getting ObamaCare should have a subsidy from the federal government. As the subsidies go up, of course, that's the greatest (inaudible) of ObamaCare. And yet, if he we can't even figure out how to enroll people in the program, what level of competence can we have that we have this income verification so we know people who should get subsidies get them, and those who should not do not?

SCOTT: That's a great question. I think it brings into question also everything from the navigators to the IRS. We have a lot of serious questions that Ms. Sebelius needs to answer. Because, at the end of the day, if we're going to ask the IRS to be in charge of the back end, the question is, how do we do income verification accurately at the front end? And then take into consideration the fact that these folks that we are going to verify their income, once we see the employer man at a time kick in, the 40-hour work-week for many employees will be gone and they'll be down to 30 hours, maybe 29 hours. So we're having a brand new conversation a year from now about how the implementation has to be, once again, kick started because of the new rules and the new opportunities that are coming their way after the end of the first one- year delay of the employer mandate.

So piece-mealing this bill together over the next several months and over the next year or two is not going to be great way for the American people to feel comfortable with a brand-new entitlement that we both know is going to be very difficult to afford. We haven't started talking about the fact that it adds $6 trillion to our debt.

VAN SUSTEREN: Senator, thank you. Nice to see you, sir.

SCOTT: Thank you, Greta.